Vermeer Introduces Whole-tree Chipper
Vermeer Corporation is introducing the WC2300 whole-tree chipper, designed specifically to produce chips for the growing biomass industry.
December 2, 2010 By Canadian Biomass
Vermeer Corporation is introducing the WC2300 whole-tree chipper, designed specifically to produce chips for the growing biomass industry. The WC2300 features many proven technologies developed by Vermeer.
|Photos: Heather Hager
“We spent considerable time working with end users to identify what features they thought were missing on current machines in the marketplace and incorporated those improvements into the WC2300 whole tree chipper,” says Mark Rieckhoff, environmental sales manager for Vermeer.
Innovations start at the infeed table, which features a 6º slope that lowers the point at which long material first contacts the machine. This allows the smooth flow of long material from the ground up onto the infeed table and reduces the likelihood of limbs or tree canopy from snagging on the end of the machine.
The actual infeed system features variable-speed dual conveyor chains on the infeed table, a conveyor head pulley with integral grip bars, and an aggressive large-diameter infeed roller with crush capability. These provide efficient feeding of difficult material types, minimizing operator handling of the material.
The infeed conveyor chains are individually tensioned to accommodate unequal chain wear and allow replacement of a single chain at a time. The infeed roller down-pressure, which is monitored by Vermeer’s SmartCrush system, is minimized until the feed roller has climbed up onto the material. Down-pressure then increases automatically to feed difficult material with forks or large limbs to the cutter drum. The SmartFeed feed-sensing control system monitors engine revolutions per minute and automatically stops and temporarily reverses the feed roller and infeed conveyor when feeding larger, hardwood material. SmartFeed also senses feed roller jams and responds by automatically shifting material back and forth. This helps increase operator productivity and reduces strain on vital engine parts.
The chipper’s cutting drum has two knife options: double-edged or babbitted single-edge cutter knives. This allows the operator to select the type of knife that best suits the operation, job site, or customer requirements. In addition, the drum and cutter knife design provide two different knife-mounting depths of cuts that produce different chip sizes, allowing one machine to provide different end products to meet the needs of various end users.
The machine’s functions can be controlled remotely using a handheld remote control. The remote allows the user to operate the chipper from another location such as the cab of the loading machine and provides real-time machine performance data to aid the operator in maximizing productivity by monitoring and adjusting settings.
The chipper is equipped with a 440-hp (328.1 kW) C-13 Cat diesel engine that allows for maximum output while consuming less fuel than higher-powered machines. The operator can also engage the EcoIdle engine control system, which automatically lowers engine speed to 1400 rpm if no material has been chipped for 30 seconds, helping to consume less fuel if the feeding process has frequent interruptions. The engine speed automatically increases if the feed roller climbs up onto new material or the engine detects a change in loading.
Directing chips into the trailer has been simplified with a double-pivot chute that allows for hydraulic adjustment vertically or horizontally to achieve the right angle for optimum trailer loading. Users can adjust the side-to-side sweep for up to 14º left and right and raise the chute up to 22º or lower down to 14º.
The compact design of the machine allows for more manoeuvrability and easier repositioning of the machine on the job site. The tongue is equipped with a grapple grip collar area, allowing a log skidder to pick up the tongue and move the machine to a new location on the job site. The brake system includes extra air tank capacity and a brake release valve to allow the parking brakes to be released without hook-up to a standard tow vehicle.
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